Introducing two new programs from Boswyck Farms! We’re proud to offer a Basic Hydroponic Certification Course, and a Teacher Training Course. Both will provide participants with the skills and confidence to operate their own hydroponic farms.
For more information on the Basic Hydroponic Certification Course, click here.
For more information on the Teacher Training Course, click here.
Overview of Educational Programs
The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.
—William Lawrence Bragg
We like to farm. We also like to teach about hydroponics and growing food; and we like to run community workshops about urban farming and sustainability. In the summer of 2009 we decided to bring our program into schools by designing a science curriculum with the goal of creating an innovative approach to the study of botany. With a focus on inquiry and the scientific method we hope to help our students understand not only the biology of plants but new ways to experience science in the classroom. We also can’t forget the fun. We think it’s very important students are engaged and interested in the subject at hand.
Kids love to build and we love to build with them. As our students experiment and understand the life cycle of plants, they’re also working with the idea of sustainability and conservation through hydroponic farming. For most kids, growing plants hydroponically is a completely new concept. The majority, if not all of their exposure with plants is soil based. To work with an alternative method is quite a unique experience for them.Using mainly recycled materials for construction, students draw up plans for their systems, experiment with design and discover what doesn’t work and what does. This process of discovery is the core of all scientific explorations. One of the most exciting things for us is the enthusiasm the students we’ve worked with have shown. Whether it’s looking at algae cells under the microscope or data on the growth of their plants, their engagement and connection to science as a process and as a journey is something we take to heart. What we’re doing in the classroom has been the mission of all educators dedicated to bringing meaningful instruction to the classroom and something that has been said for years: kids learn best through experience.
However, it’s not just the students who are seeing science in a new way. Each day we spend with them, new challenges and discoveries about how they learn arise. As Lee, our Chief Hydroponicist, said after the first time working with 4th graders, “This is wild. I have so much to learn about teaching and I’ve already learned so much.”
Understanding nutrition and where food comes from is also an integral part of our program. According to the CDC the rate of childhood and adolescent obesity continues to rise across the country. Learning about botany, building systems to grow plants in, seeing plants sprout and eventually harvesting what they have had a hand in growing encourages students to think about food in a new way and to become active participants in what they consume.
As our science and hydroponic program continues to evolve, we’re hoping to partner with museums, community organizations and other institutions to create innovative programs that reflect the spirit of our work and the needs of those we work with.
|School ProgramsOur school programs offer an in-depth study of botany with a focus on the scientific process. Students will build hydroponic systems for their classrooms. Our curriculums are designed for upper elementary, middle and high schools. Please email email@example.com for more information..|